Nonprofit Groups Help Seniors Feed Their Pets
White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) February 21, 2014 - Meals on Wheels now helps some seniors to get donated food for their pets.
For many seniors, a pet is a lifeline, providing companionship to ward off loneliness and depression while promoting physical and mental activity. And of course, people love their pets, so much so that nonprofit groups that help seniors in need have found that some seniors were giving donated food meant for them to their pets.
The groups have responded by arranging for pet food to be included with deliveries.
The arrangement comes from a partnership between organizations that helps low-income seniors and pet groups around the country. Meals on Wheels is one of the organizations involved, and they have cooperated with a number of independent pet groups across several different states.
The pet groups ask volunteers to collect donated pet food and bring it to Meals on Wheels or to another agency that delivers food. The pet food is delivered along with regular groceries to seniors who need it. The groups also deliver to community centers, nursing homes and senior centers.
The organizations said that seniors who are eligible for Meals on Wheels or similar programs usually qualify for free pet food deliveries as well. The groups also stated that pets are extremely important for seniors, and that it is not unusual for low-income seniors or people with disabilities to feed their pets before they feed themselves, sacrificing their own health.
One of the organizations, LifeCare Alliance, began a pet food delivery program five years ago in Columbus, Ohio and now brings donated food to over 1,000 animals per month. The group started its program after learning that many of the people they served were extremely isolated, with 70 percent reporting that they did not see anyone other than a Meals on Wheels driver each week.
Another pet food delivery program, AniMeals, began in 1984 in San Diego — among the first in the nation. The group delivers food to 250 pets each month, relying on 40 volunteers to collect 3,200 monthly cans of wet food and about 3,000 monthly pounds of dry food. The group offers bins in pet stores to allow store customers to donate food for the program.
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